Louisiana Life March/April 2018

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march/april 2018




Crescent City Classics New Orleans dishes for any occasion

the new orleans issue

Shrimp Remoulade. Get the recipe on page 32

pg. 26

A host of New Orleans tales celebrating the city's Tricentennial

march/april VOLUME 38 NUMBER 4

4 From The Editor

Towns with Centuries 6 Photo Contest

Fired Up: A street performer at Winter Fête in Alexandria entertains the crowd.




Bayou Browsing: Scenic wetlands, plantations, delicious dining, a brewery and distillery round out the fun in Thibodaux 44


farther flung

along the way

Spring Forth: Quirky Eureka Springs is nestled in the Ozarks and offers nature, shopping, delicious eats and haunted hotels

Nouvelle-Orléans, Je T’aime: The love affair between France, New Orleans and moi 10 state of louisiana

Pelican Briefs: Noteworthy news and happenings around the state

46 roadside dining

Meet Me at the Station: Station 6 serves updated versions of New Orleans’ favorite seafood dishes

11 health

Save Your Sight: A green, leafy vegetable a day keeps the doctor away

48 great louisiana chef


Serious Success: New Orleans Chef Kristen Essig of Coquette opens second restaurant and works for change in the industry

Literary Louisiana

Real Magic: Ernest J. Gaines Award winner’s novel transcends reality 14 Made In Louisiana


Swamp in the City: New Orleans’ Patti Dunn designs rugged and sustainable bags with a since of place

kitchen gourmet

Crawfish Craze: Crawfish butter and three tasty recipes to curb your crustacean craving

18 artist

Mississippi Muse: Celebrating the New Orleans tricentennial with art 22 home

Firmly Rooted: Ryan and Lauren Haydels’ Garden District residence is home to architectural character rooted in the past and a blended family growing toward the future

on the cover


26 Crescent City Classics

34 celebrate new orleans

New Orleans dishes to master for any occasion

With 300 years of history, the Crescent City offers something for everyone during her birthday year

By stanley dry pHOTOS by eugenia uhl

Shrimp remoulade is one of those New Orleans dishes that’s so classic, simple to prepare and popular, it’s a wonder the dish isn’t on the menu of every restaurant in the city. That said, it is on a large

By cheré coen select pHOTOS by cheryl gerber

number of menus. From the iconic and upscale Arnaud’s, Galatoires and Brennan’s to more casual eateries, such as Pascal’s Manale, Mandina’s and Two Tony’s, a plate of shrimp remoulade

is never more than a few blocks away in any direction. This Big Easy dish is in fact so easy, we had to include it in our “Crescent City Classics” recipe feature. It’s no


March and April: Festivals around the state 64 a louisiana life

Boss Lady: Ti Martin dishes on life in the restaurant business in New Orleans

surprise that it made the cover, given its favored status and presentation potential — it really looks good on a plate. We’re by no means crowning it the king or queen of New

Orleans cuisine, but if you are looking for a satisfying and quick Tuesday night meal that will wow the shrimp lovers in your life, think shrimp remoulade. We’ll drink to that!


EDITORIAL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Errol Laborde MANAGING Editor Melanie Warner Spencer Associate editor Ashley McLellan copy EDITOR Liz Clearman web Editor Kelly Massicot travel EDITOR Paul F. Stahls Jr. FOOD EDITOR Stanley Dry HOME EDITOR Lee Cutrone art Art Director Sarah George lead photographer Danley Romero sales vice president of sales Colleen Monaghan

Colleen@LouisianaLife.com (504) 830-7215 account executive Teresa Green Teresa@LouisianaLife.com (337) 519-1474 marketing DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & EVENTS Cheryl Lemoine event coordinator Whitney Weathers digital media associate Mallary Matherne

For event information call (504) 830-7264 Production production manager Jessica DeBold production designers Emily Andras,

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For subscriptions call (504) 830-7231


Gold Art Direction of a Single Story Sarah George Silver Portrait Photo James Shaw Bronze Photographer of the Year Danley Romero Bronze Food Feature Denny Culbert Bronze Cover Sarah Geoge Bronze Public Issue Sarah Ravits Bronze Hed & Dek Stanley Dry 2016

Silver Art Direction of a Single Story Sarah George Bronze Column Melissa Bienvenue Bronze Food Feature 2012

Gold Companion Website 2011

Silver Overall Art Direction Tiffani Reding Amedeo Press Club of New Orleans 2017

1st Place Best Magazine 2016

Lifetime Achievement Award Errol Laborde 1st Place Best Magazine

110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123 Metairie, LA 70005 • (504) 828-1380 128 Demanade, Suite 104 Lafayette, LA 70503 • (337) 519-1474 LouisianaLife.com Louisiana Life (ISSN 1042-9980) is published bimonthly by Renaissance Publishing, LLC, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005; (504) 828-1380. Subscription rate: One year $10; Mexico and Canada $48. Periodicals postage paid at Metairie, LA, and additional mailing entry offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Louisiana Life, 110 Veterans Blvd., Suite 123, Metairie, LA 70005. Copyright 2018 Louisiana Life. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. The trademark Louisiana Life is registered. Louisiana Life is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork, even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed in Louisiana Life are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the magazine or owner.

1st Place Layout/Design Sarah George 2nd Place Best Magazine 2nd Place Layout/Design Sarah George 2nd Place Best Portrait Danley Romero 2nd Place Governmental/ Political Writing Jeremy Alford








4 Louisiana Life march/april 2018

In this the year of the

Tricentennial, I would like to honor the town that was the first to be established as a French colony in the Louisiana territory and is the oldest settlement in the Louisiana Purchase. Congratulations Natchitoches. As for the Tricentennial, New Orleans is celebrating its 1718 founding based on when the French authorities decided that the land alongside the big bend in the Mississippi River was the best place to build a town, but by that year, the village of Natchitoches was already a spritely four years old having been established by the explorer Louis Juchereau de St. Denis in 1714. Though New Orleans is a global city and Natchitoches is a small town, there are some similarities. Both have early European architecture featuring wrought iron. Both have a major Catholic church: St.Louis Cathedral in New Orleans and the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Natchitoches. Both have a famous local dish.

In New Orleans, you name it; in Natchitoches, the meat pie. Front Street, which parallels downtown Natchitoches, has the charm of New Orleans’ Royal Street on a bluff. Both have a literary heritage — Tennessee Williams and Kate Chopin (though New Orleans can claim the latter, too). Both celebrate Christmas in a big way with Celebration in the Oaks in one and the Natchitoches Christmas Festival in the other. Also, both owe their existence to a river — although Natchitoches’, was created when the Red River shifted course in the 19th century leaving what is now known as Cane River Lake. There are many differences of course, including that New Orleans is below sea level while Natchitoches is in the upstate hilly country. Still there is that glimmer of a common heritage. The French who settled both towns were not seeking religious freedom or ideological liberty. The Louisiana territory was a business venture and they were establishing trade opportunities. Sometimes it takes the stamina of the entrepreneur (a French word) to be the first to plant the flag. Happy Tricentennial New Orleans. As word of the settlement spread up the rivers three centuries ago we suspect that there were folks in Natchitoches seeing opportunity from the news.




Fired Up A street performer at Winter Fête in Alexandria entertains the crowd. Photo by Misti

Marshall of Boyce

Submit your photos by visiting louisianalife.com



along the way

Nouvelle-Orléans, Je T’aime The love affair between France, New Orleans and moi written and photographed by

Melanie Warner Spencer

With a single thwack of the

sword, the cork launched from the bottle of Veuve Clicquot and champagne bubbled forth from the angled cut as the courtyard erupted into applause. Carrying on the tradition of Napoleon’s Imperial Guards, more than 12 people (including this reporter) were inducted as sabreurs at Brennan’s in New Orleans on Jan. 30. According to the literature of “Brotherhood of the Golden Sword,” or Confrérie du Sabre d’Or, in the early 1800s, the Guards would receive “cases of champagne from Madame Veuve Clicquot as a gift to give them strength on the battlefield. [The] Imperial Guards would open these champagne bottles with their swords.” Napoleon of course sold the approximately 828,000,000 square miles of territory that included Louisiana to the United States in 1803 for $15 million, but ceremonies like this one — which made the storied, circa-1946 restaurant Louisiana’s first

8 Louisiana Life march/april 2018

certified caveau (cellar) of the Confrérie du Sabre d’Or — are reminders of the depth of the connection between France and Louisiana. Of course, this year, New Orleans is celebrating the 300th anniversary of its founding in 1718 by the French as Nouvelle-Orléans, by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville. The influence of the French abounds in Louisiana in ceremonies like the one at Brennan’s and is a large part of why I wanted to live in New Orleans, the most French city in America. To this Francophile’s delight, the architecture, street names and monuments — especially the shining Maid of Orleans Joan of Arc statue near the French Market — exude the city’s inherent Frenchness. It’s also not uncommon to hear native Louisianans speaking French. French immersion schools are ubiquitous in the city and employ French teachers in large numbers. A version of Napoleonic code is still the law of the land for many issues and

a laissez-faire attitude abounds, especially in the French Quarter (or Vieux Carré). French cuisine is blessedly di rigeur — merci beaucoup. There are a host of French festivals, such Fête Française on March 10 and Bastille Day Fête in July, which is presented by the Alliance Française of New Orleans, the Consulate General of France in Louisiana and the FrenchAmerican Chamber of Commerce - Gulf Coast Chapter. There is even a Mardi Gras marching krewe that celebrates the doomed last Queen of France Marie Antoinette (of which I am a member). More than anything however, it’s the joie de vivre of New Orleans and her inhabitants that touch my heart. I can’t help but think it traveled with the brave souls — many of whom were exiled prisoners, prostitutes and the poverty-stricken sent by the French government to populate the territory — who traveled across the ocean in the 1700s to tame this wilderness — as much as she might be tamed. Once on a visit, before moving here in 2014, my husband and I were in the Quarter on a walk. We heard a brass band and followed the music. Before long, we were caught up in our first second line, which included several individuals dressed in French-themed costumes. We marched all the way to Washington Artillery Park and up the stairs, circling around the cannon. One of the leaders jumped atop the cannon and began waving the French flag to wild cheers and applause. It was in that moment, I knew I had to live in this place. As I write this column, it happens to be our four-year “NOLAversary,” and I’m so proud and moved to play a small part in this weird, magical city’s 300-year history. Bon anniversaire, Nouvelle-Orléans. We will saber many bottles of champagne in your honor. Cheers! n




pelican briefs

New Iberia

Everywhere in the Open Air

Noteworthy news and happenings around the state by

New Orleans

Sail Away If you’ve ever dreamed of sailing aboard a 19th-century pirate ship, here’s your chance. Historic ships are docking in New Orleans April 19-22, including five tall ships at Woldenberg Park on the Mississippi River and a few smaller sailing ships (check out the Jolly Rover of Key West) at Lake Pontchartrain, where they’ll be open for public sailings on the lake. Tall Ships New Orleans (tallshipsNOLA2018.com) is timed for the Tricentennial, and coincides with NOLA Navy Week 2018. New Orleans is among several stops along the Tall Ships Challenge annual race series of historic ships, which is being held in the Gulf of Mexico for the first time.

James Beard Star Status New Orleans Dong Phuong Bakery (dpbakeshop. com) in New Orleans East was recently named as one of the five recipients of the James Beard Foundation’s

10 Louisiana Life march/april 2018

Jazzing it Up After a oneyear hiatus, the Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival will be held on the renovated downtown riverbank with the strongest lineup in the festival’s history. Two multiplatinum groups, Starship featuring Mickey Thomas and the Ohio Players, join the jazz, rock, soul and country lineup April 13-14. Reserved seating is available for the first time (natchjazzfest.com).

Lisa LeBlanc-Berry

2018 America’s Classics award, presented by TABASCO® Sauce (now celebrating its 150th anniversary). Famed for its creative banh mi sandwiches since opening in 1982, it was one of the area’s first Vietnamese bakeries. The Tran family supplies numerous establishments


with their signature light and airy, crackling-crust French bread that is ideally suited for po-boys. Created in 1929 to feed drivers during a streetcar strike, the po-boys reinterpreted at Dong Phuong Bakery are as diverse and dynamic as the city they symbolize.

It’s a Bet For the first time in 20 years, Louisiana lawmakers will be asked to rewrite the riverboat casino laws. Proposals are being sponsored in the regular legislative session commencing in March. A legislative task force is recommending changes to move casinos to land while redefining the limits on reconfiguring the size of gaming floors where gambling takes place. In other gaming news, Louisiana is among 18 states that are likely to introduce bills in 2018 that would regulate sports betting. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June will decide a case brought by New Jersey that seeks to overturn a ban on sports betting in all but four states. Some analysts feel that such a ruling legalizing sports betting nationwide could result in a rapid expansion of internet betting.

Breaux Bridge

The Seafood Queen Cometh A new seafood and steakhouse, Café Sydnie Mae, is opening in the building that housed the iconic Café Des Amis, famed for its zydeco brunch for 25 years in downtown Breaux Bridge. Chef Bonnie Breaux, who was crowned Queen of Louisiana Seafood at the 10th annual Louisiana Cook-off in June 2017, is the executive chef (her winning dish was cracklin’-crusted black drum with fennel marmalade). She was formerly chef at The St. John Restaurant in St. Martinville (Sydnie Mae’s sister restaurant) and also presided over Clementine’s in New Iberia.

Thirty-five artists selected from 15 states are gathering in New Iberia March 10-16 for the fourth annual Shadows-on-the-Teche Plein Air Painting Competition. Visitors are invited to watch the artists painting in the open air at various locations around town, culminating with winners exhibiting their works (available for purchase) at the Shadows Visitor Center March 16. Bring your paint brushes March 14 for Paint Out, a public plain air competition followed by prizes and an exhibit (shadowsontheteche. org). Meet celebrity authors April 6 to 8 on Main St. at Books Along the Teche Literary Festival and enjoy cooking demos, a party barge, film screenings, a Cajun fais-do-do, literary workshops and an Acadiana Symphony Orchestra concert (booksalongthetecheliteraryfestival.com).

Women on the Rise Emerge Louisiana has announced its Inaugural Class for 2018, which includes a group of 25 women who are future political leaders from across Louisiana, hailing from diverse backgrounds, races, religions, socioeconomic levels and professions. The state’s premier organization for recruiting and training Democratic women to run for political office, Emerge Louisiana launched as the 19th affiliate in the Emerge America network last year. For the complete class list and upcoming events, visit facebook.com/ EmergeLouisiana.


Save Your Sight A green, leafy vegetable a day keeps the doctor away by Fritz


The American Optometric Association has declared

March “Save Your Vision” month. Our eyesight is something that’s all too easy to take for granted, but visual health is like caring for the rest of your body — prevention goes a long way. UV rays are a particularly important issue in Louisiana. The Environmental Projection Agency, acknowledges that the intensity of UV rays is higher in southern states like Louisiana than it is in states like Minnesota or Wisconsin. n

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The Right Shades To combat those harsh UV rays, Dr. Frank “Jay” Culotta, a retinologist with Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette, recommends that all people, young and old, wear sunglasses with UV protection. If you’re not sure whether or not your shades have UV protection, have them checked out by an optometrist.

Watch Your Weight How can weight affect eyesight? Obesity increases a person’s risk for diabetes, and diabetes can cause blindness. A 2016 report by the United Health Foundation stated that the rate of diabetes in Louisiana among people aged 50 to 64 jumped from 11.5 to 17.8 percent. The Prevent Blindness Foundation (preventblindness.org) says that all Americans with type 2 diabetes should have an annual dilated eye exam. While not everyone can control whether or not they get diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight is one way to lower your risk for it, and in turn, lower your risk for eye disease.

Green and Leafy Macular degeneration is one of the biggest causes of cataracts and the leading cause of vision loss in Americans. It’s caused by the deterioration of the central part of the retina. Culotta says one way to help prevent the disease is to eat lots of green, leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and collard greens.

Shatterproof Safety Vision loss can also be caused by physical trauma. Culotta says it is important to wear shatterproof polycarbonate safety glasses when hammering, grinding metal or playing racket sports. “These tasks commonly cause traumatic injuries and intraocular foreign bodies that can have devastating effects on the vision,” says Culotta.




real magic

the work of W.E.B. Dubois, in particular his essay “The Talented Tenth.” The book was also inspired by my relationship to my grandfather who was an enormous source of love and inspiration for me in general.

Ernest J. Gaines Award winner’s novel transcends reality by

Amanda Orr

Johnny Ribkins is in

the race of his life: he’s got one week to pony up $100,000 to repay a mob boss. Seventy-two year old Johnny hails from a family of quasicomic-book superheroes. Their talents aren’t exactly what you’d wish for if given the choice, but maybe there’s a use for them? Johnny can create perfect maps of anywhere — even if he’s never been there (a talent he uses to track down hidden loot when the mob boss comes knocking); his father could see colors that weren’t visible to anyone else; his brother could scale walls (OK, that’s venturing into Spider-Man territory, I’ll admit); his cousins have talents ranging from fire breathing, otherworldly speed and one limb that looks like a hammer. Much like the Justice League, the Ribkins family combined their talents during the 1960s civil rights movement to support and protect their own brethren, as well as black activists and leaders. Their group’s name was the Justice Committee and they had high ideals and lofty goals. Eventually though, the group drifted apart and Johnny and his brother Franklin began to use their talents on things like stealing jewelry and cash. The novel takes place in present-day Florida with Johnny and Eloise, his typically moody teen niece, road-tripping in his antique Thunderbird to

12 Louisiana Life march/april 2018

track down treasures he and his brother hid years before. The novel’s author, Ladee Hubbard, is based in New Orleans and is an adjunct lecturer at Tulane University where she teaches AfroFuturism: Science Fiction and Surrealism in African American Literature and Culture. “The Talented Ribkins” is her first novel and she has received extraordinary praise via both pop culture and literary circles. The release of the novel brought her to the small screen as a guest on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” in October and on stage in January to receive the prestigious Ernest

J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. The novel resonates with a wide audience because Hubbard knows how to respect a reader’s desire for pacing while balancing it with scene setting. She writes in a particularly cinematic way. Hubbard answered a few questions exclusively for Louisiana Life readers. Q: Can you talk about your inspiration for “The Talented Ribkins”? A: The title of the book and many of its themes were inspired by a consideration of the enduring cultural impact of

Q: How did the elements of magical realism help you to tell the story rather than just straight realism? A: These elements developed pretty organically with my conceptualization of the book and were present when I started writing it. Giving the characters abilities that transcend the parameters of realism was, for me, a way of talking about the idea of talent in general, without presenting it as an abstraction. Each character’s talent, on a certain level, becomes a metaphor for how they negotiate the world and their role as African-American men and women within it. Their talents, in this sense, represent different strategies for survival. On another level, it is made clear in the book that many of the characters don’t know exactly what to do with the talent they have because there is a difference between talent and vision. In the real world many people have talents and abilities that are misrepresented, misunderstood (even by themselves) or that they are not given credit for having. The book tries to talk about this as well— the need to respect and value those qualities that make us unique, even when other people may not seem to. Q: How was it to appear on Seth Meyers’ show? A: It was a great experience. He is a very charismatic host and I felt very comfortable talking to him.

Q: If you could meet someone you admire, dead or alive, who would it be and why? A: There are many people I would like to meet from history. At the moment I would have to say Harriet Tubman, because she has been a great inspiration for the book I am currently working on. Q: What are you working on right now and what can you tell us about it? A: It is a historical novel. One of the main characters is the grandfather of Johnny Ribkins, the protagonist of the Talented Ribkins. In 1913 he invents what becomes a nationally popular meat sauce and tours the country giving cooking demonstrations. He takes to calling himself The Rib King, which is the origin of the Ribkins’ family name.

EXCERPT He hadn’t seen her since his brother’s funeral but he had to admit she looked less crazy than he remembered. The lace top, miniskirt, and thigh-high boots were gone, replaced by a T-shirt, sweatpants, and white flip-flops. Her once-gaunt cheekbones were now fleshy and jowly, and her hair, deprived of the bright red wig she’d worn to the wake, was gray and cut short. He figured she must have been in her forties, about the same age his brother Franklin had been when he died. Johnny smiled. “They old tools, see? Like for turning screws so old they don’t even make them anymore. Truth is I all but forgot about them until a couple weeks ago, when I got a delivery of antique watches at the shop.” He pulled a handkerchief from the pocket of his shirt

and scratched at a line of sweat tickling his left ear. It was hot out there and he could hear how lazy and exhausted his lies sounded. Luckily the woman was none too bright. “They valuable?” “Only if you a broken watch.” A hearty “amen” and the sound of applause came from the TV inside the house. “Tools aren’t valuable. The watches are, but only if they’re fixed. And really it’s more a matter of the fact that they don’t make them anymore. Now I’ve looked everywhere, even tried contacting the original manufacturer to see if I could get ahold of the designs to have copies made. And—” Where was this going? Why was he wasting time trying to explain himself to some raggedy piece of interloping woman who didn’t even have sense enough to invite him inside and out of the heat, which would have been simple courtesy? He didn’t have time for this. He needed to find that money, get back to St. Augustine. And— “So what, Johnny, you some kind of junkman now?” n

“The Talented Ribkins”

By Ladee Hubbard Melville House, $25.99




Swamp in the City New Orleans’ Patti Dunn designs rugged and sustainable bags with a sense of place By Jeffrey portrait By

Roedel Romero & Romero

With all of its threads running

in the same direction, the heritage and craft of Tchoup Industries’ locally-made bags are the very definition of woven — both culturally and tangibly. Forged by materials sourced and salvaged with intent and sewn responsibly by artisan hands in New Orleans, these backpacks are worn everywhere from the streetcar to the swamp. “Our collection would not look the same if we were located literally anywhere else in the country,” says Tchoup Industries founder and designer Patti Dunn, who launched the brand in the Lower Garden District in 2013. “We use recycled rice bags from Crowley, custom machined metal hooks from Lafayette, discarded boat sails from local sailors, and gator hides and nutria fur from across the state.” Stylish and durable, these pieces might look best with a little mud on them, a little grit in the seams. More Patagonia than Prada, Dunn’s approach emanates the essence of her adopted city from an outsider-turned-insider’s view where sustainability has become style and fortitude fashionable.

“Our collection would not look the same if we were located literally anywhere else in the country. We use recycled rice bags from Crowley, custom machined metal hooks from Lafayette, discarded boat sails from local sailors, and gator hides and nutria fur from across the state.”

Tchoup Industries

1115 Saint Mary Street New Orleans (504)-872-0726 tchoupindustries.com

q&a When you’re not at Tchoup Industries, where would we most likely bump into you? You’d find me walking around Audubon Park, in

a Reyn yoga class, or frequenting any restaurant, coffee shop, or bar within a 1-mile radius of the Tchoup Industries shop, because I also live about 10 blocks away. Some of my favorites are HiVolt Coffee, Lilly’s Café for Vietnamese, French Truck Coffee, Bakery Bar, Turkey & the Wolf, and Stein’s Deli. Just next door to

us is DNO Records / Disko Obscura which is great for shopping, and the Saint Claude Social Club just around the corner. Has your perspective on New Orleans changed since you first arrive? This year marks 10 years that I’ve lived in New Orleans. Becoming a business owner

has really changed my perspective, because I appreciate tourists more, and I’m rooted to the city in an impactful and responsible way. I miss the free-spirited days of my first years here, but am so grateful for doors that have opened through hard work. You recently held an event

for your staff to share their other creative projects and artwork. What does it mean to you that Tchoup has cultivated a team of multitalented creatives? I am so proud of everyone’s versatile talents. Our staff has professional musicians, teachers, trained artists and emerging makers.

Having passion projects outside of day-to-day tasks is what helps keep our team — and probably everyone — inspired, well-balanced and happy human beings. The ‘Secret Lives’ event was a great excuse to draw back the curtain on our personal projects and celebrate the joys and necessity of creative expression.



A North Carolina native who worked in the luggage and bag manufacturing industry for years, Dunn relocated a decade ago maintaining national clients for her freelance design work as she moved into an apartment above an abandoned laundromat in the Bywater. There she came face to face with the post-Katrina landscape and military police making nightly patrols of her street. That culture shock gave way as the climbing wall this mountain lover built in the vacant laundry below her apartment began attracting the interest of neighbors. Soon Dunn was making friends and avid climbers, too, and the city’s charm began to feel a lot like home. In 2010, the BP oil spill that pumped more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf spurred Dunn to action, and she began thinking of ways to develop her own place-based, sustainable line of bags that would not be dependent on synthetic materials and the oil industry, bags that could inspire locals to be mindful of the

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environment and bring in enough sales to channel support to Louisiana conservation efforts, too. Three years later, Tchoup Industries was born. It celebrates its fifth anniversary this month and first full year in its own retail space and manufacturing shop on St. Mary Street, just off Magazine. “It began as a way for me to feel more connected to my community, but from there it became so fulfilling creatively,” Dunn says. “When you’re designing for other brands that aren’t your own, that can wear you down after a while.” Not only do her locally-sourced bags and wilderness-ready designs encourage exploration, but Dunn also spends a lot of her spare time thinking creatively from her canoe. “Going outside and immersing myself in nature always recharges me,” Dunn says. “I like to use the Japanese phrase ‘forest breathing’ for these necessary boardwalk hikes and bayou paddling getaways. There’s nothing more inspiring to me right now

than the mysterious landscapes, flora and fauna of southern Louisiana.” A staple at regional festivals and arts markets, Tchoup bags recently made a debut at The Good Shop, a Canal Street makers’ collective boutique operated by Tippy Tippens of Goods That Matter. Tippens calls Dunn highly organized and a clear communicator, vital skills for a creative entrepreneur. “Patti has accomplished a lot in a few years and she’s created an amazing team of wonderful people that help make Tchoup a friendly and trusted brand.” Dunn is planning a series of fresh silhouettes for her new bags in 2018, and will be connecting with more local makers and eco-friendly businesses for collaborations. “What’s most important to me is that we use not only all natural materials, but that we connect with local creatives, too,” Dunn says. “In that way, I think all that Tchoup stands for taps into the resourceful nature of this great city.”n




Mississippi Muse Celebrating the New Orleans Tricentennial with art By John R. Kemp

In the spring of 1718

when Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, and his small band of French Canadians struggled to clear a low-lying patch of land along the Mississippi River as the future site of New Orleans, art was the last thing on their minds, if at all. As Frenchmen, however, they certainly knew that art eventually would be important in New Orleans life as she took her place among the world’s great cities — and it is. In this Tricentennial year, New Orleans now has more art galleries and working artists than at any other time in her three-century history. As the city celebrates with parades, banquets, toasts and other pageantry, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Historic New Orleans Collection have scheduled major shows that explore various aspects of the visual arts in New Orleans over the centuries. One exhibition takes viewers into the once private and spectacular art collection of the city’s 18th century royal namesake, another one back to the city’s Spanish colonial era, and a third show into the New Orleans contemporary art world of the mid-1980s to the present. When it comes to Tricentennial art shows, NOMA’s promising blockbuster “The Orléans Collection” should prove a stunning contribution to

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(Top Left) “The Spirit Returns,” 2007, acrylic on canvas by Rolland Golden, The Historic New Orleans Collection, acquisition made possible by the Diana Helis Henry Art Fund of The Helis Foundation, joint ownership with the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Fund, 2008.0109.11. (Bottom Left) “Cityscape,” 1987, gouache on paper by Krista Jurisich, The Historic New Orleans Collection, gift of Judith L. Jurisich, 2017.0021. (Top Right) Mary Minor Kenner (1778-1814) by Josef Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza (c. 1750-1802). This painting is owned by the City of Kenner, LA. (Bottom Right) General James Wilkinson (1757-1825), 1799, by Josef Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza (c. 1750-1802). The painting is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Patrick.

the city’s birthday celebrations. Opening Oct. 26 and organized by the museum, the show will feature what NOMA Senior Research Curator of European Art Vanessa Schmid describes as “40 masterpieces” from the once private collection of Philippe II, Duke of Orléans (1674-1723) for whom New Orleans is named. The duke’s collection, originally numbering 772 artworks, was once ranked among the greatest private art collections in 18th century Europe. It remained in his family for only two generations before being dispersed throughout Europe in the 1790s at public auction in London. “The Orléans Collection” show will draw “masterpieces” from 20 institutions across the

U.S. and Europe and will be shown only in New Orleans. “Praised as one of the finest in Paris,” says Schmid, “this exceptional collection comprised some of the preeminent works in the history of art, including paintings by Veronese, Tintoretto, Poussin, Rubens and Rembrandt, all of whom will be represented in the exhibition. This unprecedented, international loan exhibition will bring together a selection of masterpieces from the collection for the first time.” Opening across town on March 8 in the city’s popular Arts District, the Ogden will present “Salazar: Portraits of Influence in Spanish New Orleans, 1785-1802,” featuring paintings by Spanish colonial

New Orleans’s only portrait artist, Josef Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza. Born in Mexico in 1750, Salazar came to New Orleans from the Yucatan with his family in 1783 or early 1784 and over the next 20 years painted portraits of the city’s most prominent citizens, military officers, government and church officials. After his death in 1802, his family returned to Mexico. According to art historian Cybèle Gontar, who organized and curated the show, “Salazar” will include approximately 35 of his portraits borrowed from private and public collections across the country. These paintings, Gontar says, will present “a collective portrait of Spanish colonial New Orleans,” which lasted from 1762 to 1803. “Salazar is the only Spanish colonial painter known to have produced a substantial body of work in North America, and he has generally been overlooked,” says Gontar. And therein lies the show’s theme. Salazar’s “collective portrait” of New Orleans was unique because unlike major Anglo-American cities and states along the Atlantic seaboard, few artists worked in the city prior to the Louisiana

Exhibitions and Events Through March 24

Lake Charles Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center. “Botanical Art & Illustration from the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation.” Features the artworks of 38 botanical artists from 14 countries. cityoflakecharles.com Through April 8, 2018

New Orleans New Orleans Museum of Art, “New Forms, New Voices: Japanese Ceramics from the GitterYelen Collection.” For the first time in over two decades, the museum will feature an exhibition devoted to contemporary Japanese ceramics. For the first time in over twenty years, NOMA will present an exhibition devoted to modern and contemporary ceramics. noma.org Through May 19

Lafayette Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum. “Lynda Frese: Holy Memories & Earthly Delights.” Highlights early experimental photographs made in California by Lynda Frese, a professor emeritus at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette College of Art, before she moved to Louisiana in 1986. hilliardmuseum.org Through May 27

Baton Rouge Louisiana Art & Science Museum. “Tradition in Transition: Inuit Art and Culture.” Features the artwork of Canada’s Arctic native people, the Inuits. lasm.org march 8 – June 17

Baton Rouge LSU Museum of Art. “Robert Williams: Slang Aesthetics.” Features 25 new oil paintings and other artworks by Robert Williams, who has been called the “godfather of the lowbrow and pop surrealist art movements.” lsumoa.org

Exhibitions and Events march 2 – June 23

Alexandria Alexandria Museum of Art. “Witness to Wartime: Takuichi Fujii.” Features the work of a JapaneseAmerican artist, his life and experiences in America during World War II. themuseum.org march 14 – June 23


Masur Museum of Art. “Afghan War Rugs: The Modern Art of Central Asia.” Exhibit focuses on the contemporary practice of Afghani weavers, abandoning traditional, non-figurative styles to better reflect the current political, military and cultural climate in Afghanistan. masurmuseum.org march 8 – Aug. 9

New Orleans

Purchase in 1803. His paintings also will be viewed in relation to other Hispanic, European and American portrait artists then working in North and South America. At the opposite end of the historical spectrum, the Historic New Orleans Collection will stage “Art of the City: Postmodern to Post-Katrina” at a date to be determined in the fall to coincide with the completed restoration of the Collection’s historic SeignouretBrulatour Building on Royal St. Sponsored by The Helis Foundation, “Art of the City” will present the work of 75 contemporary New Orleans area artists as examples of the city’s fertile art scene over the last three-plus decades, beginning with the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition in New Orleans. This was an era of artistic revival in New Orleans that did not go unnoticed by the international art world. In 1996 the acclaimed British art critic Edward Lucie-Smith was impressed by the art he saw emerging from New Orleans

20 Louisiana Life march/april 2018

during the ‘80s and ‘90s. While traditional art forms and various post-war art movements still thrived in the region, artists explored their cultural and spiritual roots in the urban and rural Louisiana landscapes. “New Orleans artists,” Lucie-Smith wrote, “offer themselves a certain liberty to reject the fads, which often sweep the New York art world. They are under less intensive pressure from both critics and their peers to conform to whatever the latest orthodoxy may happen to be.” “Art of the City” will include works of art drawn from the HNOC’s extensive collection and those borrowed from the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum and private collections. To make those selections, HNOC hired noted New Orleans artist, curator and educator Jan Gilbert. “Generally speaking,” says Gilbert, “I wanted to include art by artists whose work frequently looks to New Orleans as muse. Of course, because New Orleans is the soulful, multicul-

Lorenzo Lotto (Italian, 14901541), The Virgin and Child with Saints Jerome, Peter, Francis and an Unidentified Female Saint, ca. 1505. National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh. Purchased by Private Treaty with the aid of the National Heritage Memorial Fund 1984, NG 241.

tural place that it is, the works needed to reflect a range of voices, influences, subjects and media. Occasionally, artists’ works are included because of their significant influence on other artists working here and their role in the art of the city of this era. In a few instances, a voice of an outsider looking in has been the role sought.” Gilbert couldn’t have described New Orleans better. Perhaps Bienville would have enjoyed watching his city celebrate its Tricentennial with a “soulful” look at the creative spirit of the place he created 300 years ago on a low-lying bend in the Mississippi. For additional information, visit NOMA at noma.org, the HNOC at hnoc.org, and the Ogden Museum at ogdenmuseum.org. n

Ogden Museum of Southern Art. “A Precise Vision: The Architectural Archival Watercolors of Jim Blanchard.” Exhibit brings together an extensive number of Blanchard’s exquisite watercolor paintings of South Louisiana historic architecture. ogdenmuseum.org march 8 – September 2

New Orleans

Ogden Museum of Southern Art. “Salazar: Portraits of Influence in Spanish New Orleans, 1782-1802.” Features the work of Spanish colonial New Orleans’s best-known portrait artist, Josef Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza. ogdenmuseum.org april 12 – Oct. 14

Baton Rouge LSU Museum of Art. “Carrie Mae Weems: The Usual Suspects.” Two recent series by acclaimed photographer Carrie Mae Weems explore stereotypes associated African-Americans, crime and deaths at the hands of police. lsumoa.org Through Nov. 11, 2018


R. W. Norton Art Gallery. “Enlist! Art Goes to War, 1914-1918.” See what life was like in Shreveport and Caddo Parish during World War I and how artistic posters were used to urge men to enlist and women to become nurses and join the Red Cross. rwnaf.org


Firmly Rooted Ryan and Lauren Haydels’ Garden District residence is home to architectural character rooted in the past and a blended family growing toward the future By Lee Cutrone Photos by Craig Macaluso

years old, a look around our city reveals an abundance of character, old and new. Ryan and Lauren Haydels’ Garden District house, built in 2017, is a place that combines both. It has Greek Revival architectural elements such as a double gallery façade, full-length windows and classical columns, but it also has a light, bright interior with contemporary conveniences, a stunning kitchen and furnishings and art for today’s lifestyle and tastes. “You wouldn’t know it’s brand new construction because it fits the area, but the bones are brand new,” says Lauren, owner of Fleurty Girl, a local boutique chain that celebrates all things New Orleans. Ryan, a third-generation baker with Haydel’s Bakery (in business for 59 years), met Lauren in 2015 and they married in 2016. Their blended family includes five children ranging in age from 7 to 15, so the house they chose had to be roomy and suited to their active lives. Last year, when Lauren received an email notification of the listing, she knew she’d found the perfect house even before she’d visited it first-hand — and she was right. The couple purchased the house within two hours of going to view it. “We feel like it was meant for us and those are the best transactions in real estate,” she says. The house was built by contractor James Brown of Gulf Coast Contractors for his own family. When the Browns decided to relocate to Baton Rouge after having lived in the house only a few months, the Haydels recognized the quality of the design and how well it checked every part of their wishlist. As New Orleans turns 300

22 Louisiana Life march/april 2018

(Below) A large waterfall island with a pair of overhead lanterns is the centerpiece of the kitchen, which combines gray cabinets, statuary marble, and warm and cool toned metals. (Right top) The breakfast area is furnished with a farmhouse feel. Windsor chairs repeat the color and shapes in the Pottery Barn chandelier. The table was custom made locally. The bakery sign is an ode to Ryan’s family business. (Right bottom) Lauren and Ryan Haydel with their dogs, Zulu (top) and Coco (bottom).



24 Louisiana Life march/april 2018

(Left) The builder designed the house with a grand foyer that has curved, high-gloss walls and a circular second-floor landing. Chandelier by Chris Wynne. Wingback chair and round table, both from Renaissance Interiors. (Right top) The family room is furnished for comfort: Lauren used a curved leather sectional for seating and an assortment of cozy throws stowed in baskets and draped over the furniture. The console behind the sofa is from Nadeau, one of Lauren’s favorite Magazine Street home stores. A temperature controlled wine room and a wet bar are located on one side of the room, which overlooks the porch and yard. (Right bottom) The master bedroom has its own balcony with a view of nearby magazine street. Sofa from Home Goods, chandelier by Gabby Home. The portrait of Lauren is by Brandon Delles.

It’s near to Lauren’s work and convenient for the three kids who attend school Uptown. It has five bedrooms — each with its own bath — open living areas, a large yard, a huge kitchen suited to the Haydels’ large brood and Lauren’s love of cooking, and a temperature-controlled wine room. The master suite’s his-and-hers doublesided bathroom was also a huge draw as was being within walking distance of Magazine Street restaurants, stores and coffee shops. “We like to say we live at the corner of happy and healthy,” says Lauren, borrowing the well-known slogan from Walgreens, located next door. While the entrance foyer and curved stairwell are grand in scale, the emphasis in the rest of the house is on comfortable, light-hearted and local. Lauren furnished the house with the combined contents of the couple’s previous homes and filled in with pieces she’s picked out while at market for Fleurty Girl and from favorite local stores such as Nadeau. “I have an eye for interesting things, pops of color and funky or unexpected elements,” she says. “That sense of fun I have in the store is the same sort of thing I like to bring into the house.” Visible through the dining room windows, a mural of a Cajun swamp scene on the side of Breaux Mart seems incredibly apropos for a family that truly treasures its New Orleans surroundings. “We can’t believe we live here,” says Lauren. “It really was the perfect fit for us.” n



Crescent City Classics New Orleans dishes to master for any occasion The repertoire of classic New Orleans dishes is so enormous that it would take a book to enumerate them all. Some of the city’s fabled creations are extremely complex and should be left to professional chefs. Others, such as the following, are eminently doable at home. By Stanley Dry Photographs by Eugenia Uhl

bib s are a g ood idea

Eating this dish is a messy, delicious experience.

Barbecued Shrimp 1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add 4 pounds large heads-on shrimp, 1 pound salted butter, 3 tablespoons freshly-ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce and 4 cloves minced garlic to a large roasting pan. 2 Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, then stir ingredients. Return to oven and bake until shrimp are cooked through, about another 10 minutes. 3 Divide shrimp and sauce among 4 large shallow bowls and serve with plenty of crusty French bread to soak up the sauce.

Makes 4 servings

If you use unsalted butter, add some salt to the recipe.

origin story There are many different recipes for barbecued shrimp, but all of them contain lots of butter and black pepper.

The most well-known

New Orleans dish made with heads-on shrimp is the barbecued shrimp that originated at Pascal’s Manale restaurant. It is a delicious and wonderfully messy concoction that is a misnomer since it doesn’t have anything to do with barbecue. Instead, it is made with gargantuan amounts of butter and black pepper that combine with the “fat” in the shrimp heads to make a toothsome sauce. Recipes for the dish always concur on those points, but beyond that there is little agreement on what other ingredients go into the dish.

In fact, there is a complex mythology that has grown up around barbecued shrimp, perpetuated by story and legend that no doubt change with each retelling. Indicative of this is the following yarn: Years ago, a friend told me that a friend of his (you see how this works) got soused one night with a member of the family that owns Pascal’s Manale, who, in the course of their revelry, revealed the secret recipe. The problem was that my friend’s friend had been so drunk that the next morning he couldn’t remember what he had been told, so the secret was safe.

Praline History In early New Orleans, pralines took many forms; they were made with sesame seeds, coconut, almonds, peanuts or pecans. But it is the pecan praline that won out and has become inextricably linked with New Orleans.

ma k e t h i s ta s ty treat at h ome

I like these made about the size of a silver dollar.

Pecan Pralines “The Picayune’s Creole

Cook Book,” published in 1900, references pralines going back 150 years in New Orleans. The book notes that pralines were sold by old Creole black women, called Praliniéres, on the streets of the French Quarter or in the school yards during the “noon recess.” Today, pralines are available all over town. New Orleans undoubtedly produces more praline candies than any city in the world, but the rich, crunchy and creamy confection has undergone considerable evolution over the centuries. Even today, the praline is made in a number of variations. As with so many Louisiana specialties, there is no one master recipe. Preferences vary from cook to cook. Many early Louisiana recipes for pralines called for forming the candies on a marble slab, the assumption being, I suppose, that everyone had marble in their kitchen. Perhaps reflecting the hard times of the Great Depression, the New Orleans City Guide, published in 1938, injected

a more democratic note by specifying either “a greased marble slab or greased porcelain-top table.” Contemporary recipes include a wide range of ingredients. Milk, buttermilk, half-and-half, light cream, heavy cream, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, butter, margarine, white sugar, brown sugar (both light and dark), molasses, cane syrup, corn syrup (both light and dark), simple syrup, caramelized sugar, and vanilla are used today, though (thankfully) not all in the same recipe. In addition, recipes abound for chocolate pralines and versions with a variety of flavorings, such as orange or maple. There is a certain mystique attached to making pralines, but the process isn’t really all that difficult. If you own a copper pot, you can go to the head of the class, but expensive equipment isn’t required. All you really need is a heavy pot of manageable size, a candy thermometer, a long-handled spoon and a good attention span.

1 Place 1 cup pecan halves and 1 cup pecan pieces on a baking sheet and toast in a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes. 2 In a saucepan, bring 1 cup heavy cream, 1½ cups granulated sugar and pecans to a boil and cook until the mixture reaches 234 degrees on a candy thermometer. 3 Remove from heat, add 4 tablespoons unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract. Beat until candy thickens. Drop by teaspoonfuls on buttered wax paper.

Makes about 30 small pralines

Because of the heavy cream and butter, these pralines are exceptionally rich, though not as sweet as some versions.

type s of remo u lade s a u ce

Another famous New

Shrimp Remoulade Shrimp comes first in the name, but it’s all about the sauce when it comes to which version of this dish you decide to tackle.





Combine ¼ cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons Creole mustard, 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, ½ cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning, 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion tops, and 2 tablespoons minced celery in a mixing bowl and whisk. Adjust seasonings to suit your personal taste.

Add 1 pound boiled, peeled and deveined medium shrimp to sauce and stir so shrimp are covered in sauce. Cover and refrigerate several hours until chilled.

This is a version of the red remoulade sauce



To serve, place a bed of shredded lettuce on 4 plates and divide shrimp among them. Spoon additional sauce over shrimp, if desired. Makes 4 servings as an appetizer

Orleans dish for which there are different versions is shrimp remoulade. In all of the variations, the shrimp are boiled, combined with the sauce and served cold on a bed of lettuce. It is the sauce remoulade itself that appears in different guises. One version is a white sauce with mayonnaise as its base, and the other principal type is a red sauce enlivened with Creole mustard, horseradish and other ingredients. Various claims of authenticity are made for each type of shrimp remoulade, but that issue is largely academic. As has happened so often with Louisiana dishes that bear French names, our versions have evolved from the original and are noticeably changed. None of the New Orleans remoulade sauces conform exactly to the French sauce remoulade, although the white version is the closest, but so what? An outlander could understandably be totally perplexed by encountering so many variations going by the same name, but I bet he would find each one delicious in its own way.

O ri g in s of e g g s s ardo u

Created by Jules

Alciatore at Antoine’s, Eggs Sardou were named in honor of the French playwright Victorien Sardou and served to him at Antoine’s in 1908. Originally, the dish included anchovies and truffles. Today, Eggs Sardou shows up in a variety of guises, but often it is composed of poached eggs in artichoke bottoms resting on a bed of spinach, finished with hollandaise sauce spooned over the eggs. This is one of the rich egg dishes popular at breakfasts, brunches and luncheons in New Orleans restaurants.

Trouble? Frozen artichoke bottoms work perfectly well in this recipe, but they are difficult to find. Middle eastern food stores are your best bet. You can also start from scratch and cook fresh artichokes. If you love anchovies, one or two filets can be draped over each artichoke bottom. The dish is so rich that one egg per serving is sufficient for most people.

32 Louisiana Life march/april 2018

eggs sardou This dish is assembled from several components that are prepared individually: spinach, artichoke bottoms, hollandaise sauce and poached eggs. Prepare each component and keep it warm, then put them together and bask in the admiration of your guests.The Hollandaise sauce calls for unsalted butter. If you use salted butter, omit the coarse salt.





Hollandaise Sauce


Steam 4 cups packed baby spinach until softened. Season with Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keep warm. Prepare 4 artichoke bottoms and keep warm.

In a stainless-steel mixing bowl, whisk to combine 3 egg yolks, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon water and šâ „8 teaspoon coarse salt. Place the bowl over low heat and whisk constantly, rotating the bowl at the same time until the egg yolks thicken and the whisk leaves tracks in the bowl. Begin adding 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened), a spoonful at a time, whisking after each addition. As you work, lift bowl away from the heat or on the heat, as needed to create a smooth emulsion. Continue until all the butter has been incorporated. Taste and add additional lemon juice and/or salt as desired. Place bowl in a warm spot while you complete the recipe.

Divide spinach among 4 plates and place an artichoke bottom on top of the spinach. Poach 4 eggs and place one egg in each artichoke bottom. Spoon hollandaise sauce over the poached eggs and sprinkle on some paprika for garnish.

Place a small strainer over a bowl and break an egg into it. The thin liquid in the egg will drain off. Slide the egg into simmering salted water and poach until the white is set. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Makes 4 servings



celebrate new orleans With 300 years of history, the Big

Easy offers something for everyone during her birthday year

n ew Orleans sits at a precarious turn of the Mississippi River, a sharp curving bend that shaped the adjacent land into a crescent. For centuries, this stretch of earth along the river provided high ground during storms and spring floods, and gave Native Americans ample views of approaching enemies. When Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, arrived in 1718 at this high ground 100 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, he deemed it the ideal spot to build a city. He named it La Nouvelle Orléans, for Philippe II, the Duke of Orléans, who was Regent of France at the time. Since that rustic founding in 1718, New Orleans has seen numerous nations plant their flags on the site. Immigrants from around the world made their way to Louisiana over the past 300 years, creating a gumbo culture that exists today and drives the city’s tourism. It’s one reason why the New York Times put New Orleans at the top of its “52 places to visit in 2018,” list. “There is no city in the world like New Orleans,” the Times reported. “Influences from Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa and indigenous peoples have made it the ultimate melting by pot. And that diversity expresses itself in a multitude of ways that define New Orleans cheré in the American imagination: music, food, coen language, and on and on. Though [it has] been a long recovery from Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans isn’t just back on its feet, it is as vibrant as ever — particularly impressive for a 300-year old.” Three hundred years is no small feat for a city located in such un unpredictable location. That’s why there’s much to celebrate this year.

New Orleans is a world-renowned culinary hub so it’s a given that restaurants will be tapping into Tricentennial fever. Several restaurants have announced specialty menus and more in honor of the big year. Even though New Orleans began as a French city, the city’s culinary scene reflects it diverse heritage over 300 years. This month, for instance, the Top Taco Festival NOLA (toptaconola.com) returns for its second year on March 15, pairing restaurants with tequila brands and serving up gourmet tacos and tequila cocktails in Woldenberg Park to benefit One Heart NOLA. New this year from festival organizers is Agave Week, a six-day celebration of tequila and mescal that includes “The World’s Largest Bloody Maria Brunch” on March 11, pairing dinners, a margarita mix-off and more.

eat do

learn The Historic New Orleans Collection (hnoc.org) has an amazing array of historical artifacts and documents and will be utilizing many of these for its exhibit, “New Orleans, the Founding Era,” from now until May 27. But the free exhibit will also include items culled from French, Spanish and Canadian collections, such as drawings of original buildings and the first plan for the city. Complementing the exhibit is a bilingual catalog with essays from curators, historians, authors and Gérard Araud, the French ambassador to the United States. The New Orleans Archdiocese presents “The Church in the Crescent: 300 Years of Catholicism in New Orleans,” through June 30 at the Old Ursuline Convent Museum located inside the convent, built in 1745 and considered the oldest building in the Mississippi Valley. In addition to the exhibit will be a lecture series in the spring and fall and the Tricentennial Interfaith Prayer Service on April 17 at the St. Louis Cathedral, the city’s most famous landmark and the second oldest basilica in the U.S.

Don’t just learn about history, experience it. Visit the Louisiana State Museums, which house numerous artifacts from the city’s diverse and vibrant centuries, from Carnival floats in the Presbytere to Louis Armstrong’s first cornet in the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint. The 1850 House and Madame John’s Legacy allows visitors inside homes used in bygone eras and for something truly unique, the Cabildo offers one of only four Napoleon Bonaparte death mask in the world, created by Dr. Francesco Antommarchi, Napoleon’s physician at the time of his death.

tricentennial events “Making New Orleans Home: A Tricentennial Symposium” exploring the city’s 300-year history and its diverse population is March 8 to 11. Open to the public, the symposium will feature lectures and panel discussions at locations throughout the city, including Tulane and Xavier universities and the Hotel Monteleone. Evening events are at The Historic New Orleans Collection and the New Orleans Jazz Museum.

The Tricentennial celebration lasts all year but major events center around April, since it’s believed that Bienville landed on the shores of the Mississippi River in the spring of 1718, said Mark Romig, CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. In addition to the regular festivities planned each year in New Orleans — French Quarter Festival and Jazz Fest, to name two — the city has planned the Tricentennial NOLA Navy Week April 19 through 25 with Tall Ships New Orleans 2018 (tallshipsnola2018.com) arriving April 19 to 22. The first features naval ships from the U.S., Canada and France

photos by cheryl gerber


One of the goals of the city’s Tricentennial committee was to restore historic Gallier Hall, a Greek Revival building created by architect James Gallier Sr. between 1845 and 1853. The elegant building served as City Hall until 1956 when the New Orleans municipal government moved to Duncan Plaza. The restoration is expected to be completed by March, open to the public and include several paintings, including ones of George Washington, Andrew Jackson and the Marquis de Lafayette, as well as numerous decorative objects.

parking at the Woldenberg Park for free ship tours and a culinary cook-off between visiting and Louisiana chefs. The Tall Ships will also allow guests on board after sailing up the Mississippi River. Philippe II, the French Duke of Orléans at the time of the founding of New Orleans, was a patron of the arts, collecting 772 paintings until his death in 1723. The massive collection remained in his family until the French Revolution, but its dispersal contributed to the formation of public musuems in Europe, according to Vanessa Schmid, New Orleans Museum of Art’s senior research curator for European art.

In honor of the city’s Tricentennial, NOMA will host “The Orléans Collection,” featuring pieces from Philippe’s holdings culled from the Uffizi Gallery, the Louvre and the Rijksmuseum, among others. The exhibit will run Oct. 26 through Jan. 27, 2019. There will be related programs such as curator-led talks, gallery tours, seminars, film screenings, a two-day symposium and more. Turn to page 18 for additional tricentennial art exhibitions and events For more Tricentennial event details, visit 2018nola.com/events.

drink Ralph’s on the Park at the edge of New Orleans’ City Park will celebrate the 300th anniversary with “Our History Told in Cocktails,” serving up concoctions that not only honor the city’s history but the restaurant’s as well. The building that houses Ralph’s on the Park began as an 1860 coffeehouse and was known for a time as City Park Tavern and Tavern on the Park. Look for drinks that recognize former owners, the turn-of-the-century red light district known as Storyville and the 19th-century gentlemen who dueled under the nearby live oak trees. DTB on Oak Street, abbreviated for Down the Bayou, will serve up specialty cocktails all year long with nods to those delicious libations created in the city. DTB will create modern interpretations of classic cocktails such as brandy milk punch, the Ramos Gin Fizz and the Pimm’s Cup, all of which originated or were enhanced in New Orleans. Bourbon enthusiasts may enjoy the New Orleans Bourbon Festival (nobourbonfest.com) March 8 through 10 at the Contemporary Arts Center and Le Meridien hotel. There will be pairing dinners, seminars with bourbon experts, an outdoor marketplace and the Stave and Thief Society Executive Bourbon Steward Class on March 12, plus more. The theme this year is “Bourbon Generations,” and will honor families of master distillers, including Fred and Freddie Noe of Jim Beam and Eddie and Bruce Russell of Wild Turkey. Tickets for the second annual event range from $59 to $490.




Bayou Browsing Scenic wetlands, plantations, delicious dining, a brewery and distillery round out the fun in Thibodaux BY Paul

F. Stahls Jr.

Bayou Lafourche provides some

of the most rewarding sightseeing in the state, with Thibodaux serving multiple purposes as “Queen City of the Bayou”, the seat of Lafourche Parish, and the borderline between the area’s two famous regions, “Up the Bayou” and “Down the Bayou.” Those credentials, plus its convenient downtown accommodations and reputation for fine dining, make the old town an obvious headquarters for explorations, beginning with a business Cajun jam at district where vintage storefronts Wetlands surround the handsome 1856 Acadian Center Lafourche Parish Courthouse. A few steps in any direction from the Greek-columned courthouse will lead to dining spots like Foundry on the Bayou with its great view of the Lafourche and beautiful Fremin’s adjacent to the courthouse. For sightseeing around town, begin at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral at 721 Canal Blvd. (985-446-1387, stjoseph-cc.org) erected in 1923 in “Renaissance Romanesque” design (inspired by Notre Dame Cathedral), and a right turn on 8th Street will lead to the Georgian-style St. John’s Church at 718 Jackson, built in 1844 (tours by appointment, 985-447-2910, stjohnsthibodaux.org). From Jackson turn left to find, at 314 St. Mary St., a Lafitte National Park outpost called the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center, where exhibits and films describe the wetlands and the distinctive folkways of Acadian immigrants who settled in those environs. Activities include a 4 p.m. Cajun music jam on Mondays (with dancing),

40 Louisiana Life march/april 2018


Bayou Lafourche side trips should begin below Thibodaux at the Cajun Bayou Visitor Center, on La. 1 beneath the bayou’s U.S. 90 bridge (985-537-5800, lacajunbayou.com).

to gather complete details on local attractions, dining, entertainment, outdoor activities and guided tours (on land and water). Thus informed, begin by continuing down La. 1 to nearby Lockport.

In the early 1970s at Nicholls State, an enthusiast named Joe Tom Butler and volunteers began restoring or replicating Louisiana’s traditional wooden boats, one by one. Now relocated to a

UP THE BAYOU The upstream trek from Thibodaux might begin with a drive up the east bank to Madewood Plantation, the National Landmark at 4250 La. 308. Built in 1846 by famed architect Henry Howard, the 21-room mansion with its stunning Ionic columns offers lavish B&B accommodations as well as tours by appointment (985-369-7151, madewood.com). Two miles later, cross to Napoleonville for lunch at Politz’s, itself a landmark (4936 La. 1, 985-369-6994), and for dessert drive a block to see delicious Christ Episcopal Church built in 1853. Services at the Gothic, masonry structure are now rare, but the grounds and ancient cemetery are accessible.

spacious 1930s auto dealership in oldtown Lockport (202 Main St., 985-532-5106, nicholls.edu/boat), the Center for Louisiana Boat Traditional Building has become a virtual fleet of Lafitte skiffs, oyster

luggers, trawlers, pirogues and many lesser known crafts, arguably our most important folk life collection in any category. The boat museum is open only 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays

and Thursdays and shares that schedule with the next door Bayou Lafourche Folklife and Heritage Museum, a collection of early20th-century bayou photography (985532-5909). Both will also be open April

8 when the Bateau De Bois Festival brings a day of pirogue races, storytellers and museum tours. (The annual Lockport Food Festival, incidentally, follows on April 20 to 22.)

Downstream, as picturesque shrimp boats begin appearing along the way, stop in Golden Meadow to see the oldest of them all, the 19th-century “Petit Caporal” on display at bayouside.

Returning toward Thibodaux along the west bank, stop to visit the E.D. White home (2295 Hwy. 1) a State Museum site and National Historic Landmark. Once home of the elder Edward D. White (governor, 1835 to 1839) and his son Edward (justice and chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1894 to 1921), the old raised cottage now presents exhibits relating to the White family, sugar cane, slavery and the bayou’s Chitimacha Indians and Acadian settlers (985-447-0915, louisianastatemuseum.org).



(Top left) Visitors at Donner-Peltier Distillers. (Bottom left) Dansereau B&B (Right) Cabins at Laurel Valley

stay Finding vacation-quality accommodations in and around Thibodaux’s historic district is no problem, thanks to a 150year old palatial B&B in the heart of it and three modern hotels scattered about the perimeter. Dansereau House at 506 St. Phillip St. (985-227-9937, dansereauhouse.com), was built in 1847 and enlarged in the 1870s (now three stories plus cupola), with furnishings so sumptuous they can tempt guests to spend their entire visit indoors. Facing the bayou, the locally owned Carmel Inn and Suites has refurbished rooms and large pool at 400 E. 1st St. (Hwy.1, 985-446-0561, thecarmelinn.com), convenient to the historic district and Nicholls State.

downtown walking tours at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and, in spring and fall, boat tours (985-448-1375). Going west on St. Mary (Hwy. 1), turn left on Hwy. 3185 to the Mudbug Brewery (1878 Hwy. 3185, 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday and 5 to midnight Friday and Saturday), where brewhouse tours and a dandy taproom will introduce you to Cajun beverages like King Cake Ale, Pelican Pilsner and Intracoastal IPA (985-4921610, mudbugbrewery.com). Do you want something stronger? Head back up 3185, cross the bayou, turn right on Bayou Road (Hwy. 308) and left on

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St. Patrick, which leads to Donner-Peltier Distillers (1635 St. Pat), producers of three varieties of Rougaroux Rum, a distinctive vodka and gin, and a rice-sweetened cousin of bourbon called LA 1 Whiskey (tours at 4 p.m. weekdays and 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturdays, with the tasting room open 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily except Sunday). Return to Hwy. 308 and head downstream, glimpsing beautiful Rienzi Plantation (215 E. Bayou Road, private) before crossing the Audubon Ave. bridge to Nicholls State University. The Ameen Gallery can be found in Talbot Hall (985448-4597, nicholls.edu/art) and the cutting edge kitchens of the Chef John Folse

Culinary Institute, 101-105 Bowie Road can be toured by appointment (985-4932700, nicholls.edu/culinary). Back on the east bank and just downstream, the old general store of famed Laurel Valley Plantation, 595 Hwy. 308, serves as a museum and a sales area for books, art, crafts and snacks (985-446-7456, facebook.com/laurelvalleyplantationstore). Ask for dates and details about this year’s spring and fall Laurel Valley Festivals, and finish your Thibodaux tour with a drive through the cane fields on Laurel Valley Road, from which the dramatic ruins of an old brick sugar mill and rows of slave and sharecropper cabins can be seen without trespassing. n

farther flung

Spring Forth Quirky Eureka Springs is nestled in the Ozarks and offers nature, shopping, delicious eats and haunted hotels By Cheré


In the 19th century Dr. Alvah

Jackson stumbled upon a series of springs in the Ozark Mountains, and the water pouring forth from the earth healed him of an eye ailment. He began promoting the miraculous waters to others and soon a town emerged. He named it Eureka Springs from the Greek expression used to describe an amazing discovery. The springs still bubble forth, but today visitors come for the eclectic atmosphere of Eureka Springs, its many festivals, restaurants and shops and the Victorian village surrounded by nature. There’s hidden fun around every turn, from the dinosaur and Humpty Dumpty statues in people’s lawns to cottages built inside the mountainside. The eureka moment may have ceased in this small Ozark town, but the amazement continues.

Good Bets An Arkansas teacher purchased Ozark property for his retirement but people were always stopping to admire the natural beauty of his purchase. He decided to build a chapel on the site and enlisted renowned architect E. Fay Jones, then at the University of Arkansas, to build his Thorncrown Chapel, emphasizing glass and natural elements

Do! Big Scares Eureka Springs is home to the 1886

Crescent Hotel, one of America’s most haunted, and ghost tours tell the tales of those refusing to check out. Crescent Hotel Ghost Tours happen nightly and those brave enough to sign up will visit the rooms and hallways

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to pay homage to the surrounding nature. The chapel has since won numerous architectural awards and the American Institute of Architects named Thorncrown Chapel number four on its list of the top buildings of the 20th century.


Crescent Hotel: There’s more to the 1886 Crescent Hotel than ghosts, although that’s

where things go bump in the night, culminating at the hotel’s basement “Morgue,” where bodies were disposed of when the hotel was used as a so-called hospital for a man selling quack cancer treatments.

Big Cats There are more than 100 big cats at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge — and we’re not talking lap cats. Turpentine is the largest big cat refuge in the world, saving lions, tigers and other wild

certainly part of its lure. Many visitors use the old Victorian hotel’s elegance and history as backdrops for weddings and special events, plus there’s a day spa offering massages, treatments and salon services. The hotel is located on top of a mountain so dinner and drinks in the SkyBar Gourmet Pizzeria on the hotel’s top floor provides a great view of sunsets. If you still want to see a specter, take the nightly ghost tour.

cats from illegal ownership. Visitors may enjoy tours, educational talks and even stay on site. Big shopping Quaint shops, boutiques, art galleries, antiques and more dot the

streets of Eureka Springs, so it’s easy to find something for everyone. Hats, Hides & Heirlooms haberdashery is a must, as is New Age store Crystal Waters and Iris at the Basin Park featuring numerous local crafts and artwork.

Walking Tours The town emerged because of the abundant springs flowing from the mountainside and these springs exist today, many accented by grottos, pocket parks and historical markers. For an overview and map of the town’s springs, plus other unique and interesting attractions, pick up “Six Scenic Walking Tours in Historic Eureka Springs,” published by the city’s preservation society or the walking downtown map by the Eureka Springs Downtown Network.

Basin Park Hotel: In the heart of Eureka Springs, next to the Basin Spring Park where Jackson first discovered the healing aspects of the town’s waters, lies the Basin Park Hotel, dating back to 1905. Visitors may enjoy the Balcony Restaurant & Bar, take the ghost tour (yes, it’s haunted too) or enjoy the Spa 1905 on the second floor. Cabins and Cottages: There are numerous cottages, bed and breakfasts and Airbnbs to choose from in Eureka Springs, plus more in the surrounding countryside. Visitors may rent entire homes in town or cabins overlooking Beaver Lake. There’s even treehouses from which to choose.. For more information on the many accommodations available, visit eurekasprings.org/accommodations.

Back to Nature Closest to town is Lake Leatherwood City Park, which offers 25 miles of nature trails, a spring-fed lake for swimming, boating and fishing and the 1940s dam built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Further out of town is Pivot Rock Park, another great place to hike through miles of woods. This attraction features unusual geological formations, such as the natural bridge, small caves, ravines and a rock formation that resembles an upside-down triangle, hence the park’s name. Native Americans both utilized and honored Blue Spring, a natural spring that feeds a lagoon, then pours into neighboring White River. Visitors may enjoy the azure beauty of the springs, as well as gardens and hiking trails, at Blue Spring Heritage Center, just outside the city limits. n

eat Keel Creek Winery This small winery produces big flavors and serves up wine tastings in its Spanish-style building that doubles as an art gallery for local artists. Be sure and sample the Cynthiana, a wine developed from the Norton grape, America’s oldest native grape. Oscar’s Café You know it’s a special place when a blackboard on the porch is covered with diners’ glowing remarks and everyone seems to know each other. Inside Oscar’s Café, located in an old house, the walls are covered in old periodicals and other Americana items. The food arrives fresh and matches the décor; homemade lemon ice cream arrives in a mason jar. Eureka Market Visitors come to Eureka Market to stock up on essentials, but the local grocer specializes in natural products so it’s a health food store as well. They sell organic produce, Ozark baked breads, local dairy products and brand names utilizing quality ingredients.



roadside dining

Meet Me at the Station

Sizzling garlic shrimp with capers, lemon and Parmesan from Station 6

Station 6 serves updated versions of New Orleans’ favorite seafood dishes by

Jyl Benson

photos by Romero

& Romero

Bucktown cropped up in the late

19th century as squatters erected — on unincorporated land — tin-roofed hunting and fishing huts on stilts where the 17th Street Canal meets Lake Pontchartrain. The inhabitants lived off of the land and water. The most refined establishment in the area was probably the bare bones schoolhouse that sat amidst a jail, saloons, gambling parlors, rowdy dance halls and, during Prohibition, speakeasies and whorehouses. Those days were long gone when, as a child in the 1970s and ‘80s, I frequented the rickety Sid-Mar’s restaurant with my family. The wooden building leaned on its pillars over the lake. The warped floors tilted and the screen doors shrieked, opening onto a porch with unadulterated views of the lake and piles of crab traps in the yard. Today neither the road outside nor Sid-Mar’s exist, the former replaced by a massive and unsightly, but hugely reassuring, pumping facility, the latter washed into the lake by Hurricane Katrina. With this, the area gave way to the civility it so long eschewed. In 2016 Chef Alison Vega-Knoll opened Station 6 about 30 feet and a world away from the ramshackle Sid-Mar’s. After 10 years in the Caribbean she and her husband, Drew Knoll, returned to New Orleans and he became a partner in the seafood distributor

Good Bets

If Station 6 is the sublime, Turkey & the Wolf is the ridiculous. Named the best restaurant in the U.S. by Food & Wine in 2017, mismatched glasses featuring throwbacks like the Hamburglar keep time with

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rummage sale finds of Mawmaw’s old china and a menu that was surely planned with a bong. The final effect is dizzying and dazzling. Sandwich choices include slabs of grilled house-made white Pullman-style

loaf cradling fried bologna, molten American cheese and a handful of potato chips or toasted rye stuffed with melted collard greens, gooey Swiss cheese, pickled cherry pepper dressing, and coleslaw. Lamb

New Orleans Seafood Company. It is a handy connection and the source for the top-notch Gulf seafood that is central to the menu of inspired, updated takes on the kind of humble seafood dishes once found at the area’s many small family-oriented joints. Vega-Knoll, also a partner in Cajun Caviar, uses her company’s excellent choupique caviar to top a half dozen ice cold raw Gulf oysters which she serves with glasses of Champagne Lallier Grand Reserve Grand Cru Brut for $15 during her Tuesday through Thursday, 3 to 6 p.m. happy hour. Each dish on the menu is carefully thought out and lovingly presented: Mamere’s crabmeat casserole is served with rounds of toasted French bread; a special of escargot arrived hot and bubbling in pools of garlic butter with flecks of fresh parsley; tuna tartare topped with jicama, avocado and Cajun Caviar kissed with ghost pepper arrives atop house-made crackers; and sweet, briny jumbo Gulf shrimp sizzled in a ceramic vessel with butter, capers, lemon, Parmesan and more bread rounds to mop up the sauce. A slab of delicate pompano was pan seared to have a crisp edge then topped with a heap of jumbo lump crabmeat and a hefty soft shell crab was fried and topped with a buttery sauté of almonds and yet more lumped crabmeat . Save room for dessert. Seasonal cobbler is a mainstay as is the decadent buttermilk drop bread pudding with butterscotch sauce. n Station 6

105 Metairie Hammond Highway Bucktown (New Orleans) 504-345-2936 station6nola.com Turkey & the Wolf

739 Jackson Avenue New Orleans 504-218-7428 turkeyandthewolf.com.

neck is braised with caraway seeds then served with lemony yogurt sauce and pillows of roti. Knock it all back with one of the ever-changing cocktails like Snickerpoodle My Labradoodle

(vodka, mint, cinnamon, rice milk and hellfire bitters). Save room for a weird dessert like soft serve vanilla ice cream topped with tahini and date molasses.



great louisiana chef

Serious Success New Orleans Chef Kristen Essig of Coquette opens second restaurant and works for change in the industry By

Ashley McLellan & Romero

photos by Romero

New Orleans wasn’t originally

on Chef Kristen Essig’s career map — until she bumped into a very familiar face while enrolled in culinary school. “I had the amazing opportunity to work with Chef Emeril Lagasse at an event in 1997,” says Essig. “Chef Emeril was very kind to me and offered me a job that night to work with him on a ‘small’ TV show he was working on.” While the offer to move to the Big Apple did not pan out, it would later transform into a move to the Big Easy. “When I declined he gave me his cell phone number and told me ‘When you’re done with school and want a job call me’,” says Essig. “I did just that and in 1999 I moved from Charleston to New Orleans to begin my first job at Emeril’s Restaurant.” With plans for a new restaurant, as well as building on the success of her tight-knit team at Coquette, where she is chef and co-owner, Essig has much to look forward to in 2018. “My partner, Michael Soltzfus, and I have a big year coming up,” she says. “We are opening a second restaurant, Thalia, in the Lower Garden District. We’re thrilled to create a place for our friends and neighbors in the neighborhood in which we live. I am most excited about continuing to work with some of the finest people and talent in the city. We have an extremely dedicated and talented team of people that work with us at Coquette. There is no limit to what they can do.” n

48 Louisiana Life march/april 2018

“Service is the most important aspect of my job. Food can be delicious, but if you’re not offering it to a guest with love, it just doesn’t taste as good.”

Louisiana Crabmeat and English Pea Salad with Mint Buttermilk Dressing If you can’t get your hands on crabmeat, this salad is just as delicious with lightly poached shrimp or poached and chilled mussels. 1 pound jumbo lump Louisiana crabmeat, delicately picked 1 tablespoon chopped Tarragon 1 cup English peas, blanched in salted water 4 green onions, chopped 1 cup mayonnaise (or aioli) Ÿ cup buttermilk 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard 2 tablespoon capers, finely chopped 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 2 tablespoon chopped mint salt and freshly ground black pepper 1. Combine the blanched English peas with the crabmeat, tarragon and salt and pepper. 2. In a blender combine the remaining ingredients, puree until smooth. Toss the English peas and crab with this dressing. 3. Chill for at least 2 hours and serve cold. Delicious served inside half of an avocado, or on creole tomato slices. Also delicious, straight out of the bowl. Yields: 8-10 Servings



kitchen gourmet

Crawfish Craze Crawfish butter and three tasty recipes to curb your crustacean craving by

Stanley Dry

photos and styling by Eugenia


Crawfish have been available

sporadically since Thanksgiving, but now it’s high season for the popular mudbug. I’ve lost count of the many ways to prepare crawfish, but it’s never too late to add to the list, particularly as demand peaks during Lent and our favorite freshwater crustacean shows up on tables everywhere. Since Easter comes early this year, there should still be a good supply of crawfish after the holiday, when prices usually decline. Crawfish tails are available frozen in the off-season, and they are good, but somehow it’s never quite the same as having fresh ones. If there are any crawfish left after a boil they typically go into the refrigerator, and it’s true that cold crawfish eaten straight out of the fridge are a great treat. Other times the leftovers are peeled, the fat is saved, and both are used to make something scrumptious, such as a bisque, étouffée or stew. If you would like to take a different tack, the recipe for crawfish with Creole escargot butter might be tempting. Despite the name, it isn’t made with snails; it is a seasoned butter packed in escargot shells, along with the escargot, prior to baking. The butter is probably the best thing about escargot, and aficionados use crusty French bread to soak it up. The butter is equally delectable with crawfish, especially when it is enlivened with Creole seasoning. This preparation is a good choice for entertaining, since the ramekins can be filled in advance with crawfish tails and butter and then refrigerated until needed. There are also recipes this month for fried crawfish and crawfish fritters, as well as suggestions for three quick sauces that can be served with them. To round out the offerings, we have a recipe for a crawfish jambalaya, which can be made with or without tomatoes, as your preference dictates. n

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If desired, other ingredients, such as chopped green onion tops, spices or herbs, can be added to the batter.

Crawfish Jambalaya If you don’t like tomatoes in your jambalaya (and some are adamant about this), omit them and increase chicken stock or broth to 4 cups. ¼ cup olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 1 rib celery, chopped 1 bell pepper, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced

Crawfish Fritters Serve with one or more of three quick sauces. Heat vegetable oil in a fryer or deep pot. Combine 1 cup allpurpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt and ¹⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a bowl. Add ½ cup milk and 1 egg (beaten) and stir to combine. Add ½ cup cooked crawfish tails and stir. When oil reaches 375 degrees, working in batches, drop batter by the spoonful into oil. Do not overcrowd fryer. When fritters are brown on one side, turn and brown the other side. Remove cooked fritters with skimmer or slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper. Makes about 16 crawfish fritters.

1 pound crawfish tails 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice 3½ cups chicken stock or broth 1 bay leaf 1 teaspoon coarse salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 large pinch cayenne pepper 2 cups long grain rice ¼ cup chopped parsley ¼ cup chopped green onion tops 1. Heat olive oil in a heavy, medium-sized pot. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic and cook until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. 2. Add crawfish, tomatoes with juice, chicken stock or broth, bay leaf, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil. 3. Add rice. Stir, reduce heat to low, and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir and cook, covered, until all the liquid is absorbed, about another 10 minutes. 4. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with fork. Adjust seasonings, add the chopped parsley and onion tops. Makes about 6 servings.

Three Quick Sauces

Ramekins of Crawfish with Creole Escargot Butter Fried Crawfish Serve with one or more of three quick sauces Heat vegetable oil in a fryer or deep pot. While oil is heating, put 1 cup corn flour in a shallow bowl and season with 1 teaspoon Cajun/Creole seasoning. Combine ¼ cup spicy brown mustard with 4 teaspoons water in another shallow bowl. When oil has reached 375 degrees, dredge ½ pound cooked crawfish tails in mustard mixture, then in seasoned corn flour and fry, in batches, to a golden brown. Remove fried crawfish with a skimmer or slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper. Makes 4 servings as an hors d’oeuvre or appetizer.

This compound butter (minus the Creole seasoning) is the type restaurants use for escargot. If you have crawfish fat, add it to the butter for additional flavor. 8 tablespoons butter, softened 2 tablespoons minced shallots 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1 tablespoon chopped parsley 2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice

Creole seasoning

½ pound cooked crawfish tails

crusty French bread

1. Mash softened butter in a bowl, along with shallots, garlic, parsley and lemon juice. Season assertively with Creole seasoning to taste. 2. Pack 4 (8-ounce) heatproof ramekins with crawfish tails. Divide escargot butter among the ramekins, smoothing the tops. Refrigerate at least until butter hardens. (Dish may be prepared ahead to this point and refrigerated.) 3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place ramekins on a sheet pan and bake until butter is sizzling and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Serve with plenty of crusty French bread for sopping up the butter. Makes 4 servings as an appetizer.

tip The shallots called for in this recipe are the small brown-skinned bulbs, not green onions, which are often called shallots in Louisiana.

When you’re rushed for time and want to fix something tasty to serve with fried or boiled seafood, use a good quality mayonnaise (either commercial or homemade) and season it to taste with (1) ketchup and hot sauce, (2) spicy mustard or (3) horseradish. If you’d like to go a step further, you can add other ingredients, such as chopped parsley, fresh herbs, capers and/or chopped green onion tops, as your taste dictates.




traveling louisiana: Spring adventures

Louisiana Gumbo


olor has returned to Louisiana after a memorable cold winter, and residents across the state are welcoming spring with open arms and open windows. As life returns to the teeming bayous and flowering gardens, life also returns to communities through a variety of festivals, concert series, sporting events, and art and history exhibitions. Spring is an ideal season for exploring Louisiana, and the adventures are endless. There’s always one thing you can count on, though, and that’s great food, friendly people, and unique cultural experiences you won’t find anywhere else. The gumbo may look lighter or darker depending on the region of the state you travel to, but you know it’ll be good gumbo if it’s made in Louisiana! Check out the following destinations, events, and travel resources, and you’ll have the makings of a spring adventure you might just make an annual tradition.

Cities, Towns, & Parishes Louisiana is a place unlike any other. It’s southern and coastal, traced with bayous and sprawling stands of live oak. It’s musical, with twangy accordion blending with New Orleans’ brass notes and jazz’s blue notes. It’s centuries of history living within an ever-evolving culture. It’s gumbo and étouffée; it’s boudin and cracklins, and it’s the best seafood in the whole world. 54 Louisiana Life march/april 2018

When you come to Louisiana, it’s likely because one of these elements lured you here: the incredible local music, the delicious food, the depth of history, or the unique culture. Louisiana is more vibrant today than ever before, so it’s the perfect time to explore what makes this state so special. Whatever brings you to Louisiana for your next visit, you’ll be glad to have followed your passion. Because once you experience Louisiana, it’ll keep you coming back time and again.

Visit LouisianaTravel.com for more information and travel ideas. Trek into the gorgeous Louisiana spring season with a visit to Natchitoches, the little city with a big history. Immerse yourself in 300+ years of history in Louisiana’s oldest city! It’s a year-long adventure. Explore the historic district and uncover French Creole architecture, a French Marines’ life at Fort St. Jean Baptiste, modern architecture, sports legends and history at the Louisiana State Museum, and eclectic shopping featuring nostalgic, collectable, and gourmet treasures. Discover centuries-old cultural legacies and traditions through National Historic Landmarks, Cane River Creole National Historical Park, and Melrose Plantation as you journey through the Cane River Heritage Trail, a Louisiana Scenic Byway. Experience culinary delights with authentic Creole, Cajun, and Southern dishes. Whether it’s meat pies and Cajun potatoes, seafood and steaks, or burgers and po-boys you crave, Natchitoches is full of satisfying flavors! Visit the iconic Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017. Finally, relax from your adventures at a national chain hotel, a boutique hotel, or a quaint bed and breakfast. Plan your trip at Natchitoches.com. Lafayette is at the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun & Creole Country, an area known as the Happiest City in America, and it’s no mystery why. With their distinctive blend of food, music, and culture, it’s no wonder people from all over are heading down south with a smile on their face. One annual event bringing together all the elements that make Lafayette so unique is Festival International de Louisiane. The largest nonticketed outdoor Francophone event in the U.S., Festival International highlights the connections between Acadiana and the Francophone world. Held Wednesday through Sunday, April 25-29, throughout Lafayette’s Downtown, Festival International hosts 500 performing and visual artists

from 18 countries including Europe, Africa, Canada, the Caribbean, and the Americas to share their talents across six stages with Lafayette’s artists, residents, and visitors. Visit LafayetteTravel.com/ FestivalInternational for performance schedule, lodging, and travel information. Spring has sprung in “The Most Cajun Place on Earth,” also known as Vermilion Parish. Located minutes south of Lafayette and west of New Iberia in South Louisiana, the parish is alive with the music, language, cuisine, and scenery that define the Cajun cultural heritage. Beginning in March, farmers markets held throughout the parish bring fresh produce, handmade goods, and seafood to the public. Music is alive this season, too, with Abbeville’s Sounds in the Square Spring Concert Series on Thursdays in March and April from 5:308:30pm. On the last Saturday of the month, the Kaplan Museum hosts Coffee & Music. Foodies will want to attend the 8th Annual Stir the Pot: Seafood Cook-off & Festival at Palmetto Island State Park on April 7. The park also plays host to Dutch Oven Cooking in the Campground every 2nd Saturday. In Abbeville on April 21 is Roots Squared at Magdalen Square, which celebrates the cultures that make Vermilion Parish special with music, food, games, arts and crafts. For more information, events, and ideas, visit MostCajun.com. Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou is located just 45 minutes from New Orleans in the coastal destination of Lafourche Parish. Visitors seeking authentic Cajun experiences are embraced by true Southern hospitality as they sample the outdoor adventures, culture, food, music and festivals that make any journey up and down Bayou Lafourche truly personal, memorable, and distinctive. This spring, Lafourche Parish invites you to experience two of its festivals along the bayou: the Chocktaw Fireman’s Fair (March 2-4) and the Lockport Food Festival (April 20-22). Both festivals feature a mix of fun activities to enjoy, including


a parade and auction, along with live music, dancing, and Cajun food. Want to add a little more excitement to your spring weekend? Stay in Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou and take an airboat or swamp tour, go fishing, or visit any of the area’s other local attractions. To plan your visit, go to LACajunBayou.com. Spend some time in Ruston & Lincoln Parish this spring and experience all this bustling college town has to offer. Ruston’s music scene and arts community are being showcased all season long with events like Railroad Fest, Ruston Makers Fair, and Rock the Railroad Concert Series. These cultural events highlight local artists, renowned bands, Louisiana cuisine, and more. Spring also brings Ruston Fashion Week, a week-long celebration of fashion creativity and the diverse selection of products and brands available in Ruston’s thriving retail community. These events and more are all happening in Ruston historic downtown district. Baseball season is also in full swing for Louisiana Tech University and Grambling State University. Join sports fans from across the state to cheer on the Bulldogs and Tigers in a variety of events hosted by the universities. For more information on the area and upcoming events in Lincoln Parish, visit ExperienceRuston.com or call 800392-9032. In America’s City on the River, you’ll experience authentic Louisiana sights, sounds, and tastes at every turn. Centrally located—just an hour from New Orleans and Lafayette— Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is the perfect city to experience the sounds of rich southern soul harmonizing with a medley of art, community, and 300 years of history. Take advantage of the walkable downtown while exploring venues and attractions such as the Old and New State Capitols. Enjoy an array of culinary experiences that will immerse your taste buds in authentic Louisiana cuisine. With an ever-growing restaurant scene photograph by david simpson

to choose from, you can enjoy everything from local dives to delicious, new restaurants highlighting classic Southern fare. After a big meal, dance it off to the sounds of Baton Rouge—jazz, zydeco, swamppop—with live performances almost every night. For more information, head to VisitBatonRouge.com or call 1-800-LA-ROUGE.

Arts & Culture Culture, history, and natural beauty combine at New Orleans City Park to make an exceptional locale for memorable occasions, private events, and weddings. What

cuisine or elegant cocktail fare and hors d’oeuvres. For more information about City Park rentals and catering, contact City Park Sales at 504-488-2896 or e-mail cpsales@nocp.org. For photos, a sales brochure, and more, visit NewOrleansCityPark.com. River Oaks Square Arts Center is located in the heart of Alexandria’s historic downtown and is one of the South’s most unique arts centers. River Oaks hosts over 20 exhibitions annually, featuring over 200 contemporary visual artists. The center offers premier education components with featured presenters and houses studio space for over 40 working artists.

Ugly Mug Marketing. For more information on River Oaks Square Arts Center, visit RiverOaksArtsCenter.com and follow the center on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For class enrollment, call 318-473-2670.

Travel Resources There’s nothing like the feeling of jumping in the car and embarking on a long-awaited road trip to one of your favorite destinations. There’s also nothing like the feeling of experiencing car trouble on the mid-point of your journey. Fortunately, you can make sure your vacation stays on track with the peace of mind

Jeffery Broussard & Creole Cowboys at Fest International

better way to say “I do” than beside the steadfast, ancient oaks of the country’s most magical city? New Orleans City Park offers a number of verdant and stately venues for a range of events, from simple ceremonies to grand affairs. From the budding flowers of the New Orleans Botanical Garden to the towering columns of the elegant Grecian-style Peristyle, City Park is infused with natural charm and awe-inspiring architecture and offers wedding-friendly locales spread across the expansive 1,300-acre, 160-yearold Park. Catering services provided by City Park Catering will ensure your seamless event is packed with flavor, whether through traditional New Orleans

River Oaks will host its 4th Annual Dirty South Cup Competition from April 6 through May 26, featuring over 100 unique beverage vessels from over 80 master ceramicists. An exceptional show for collectors! Mugs, cups, yunomis, and whiskey bowls created by regionally and nationally renowned potters will be on display during the event. Arizona-based master potter, Sam Chung (Guest Juror 2018) will conduct a two-day workshop entitled Off-Axis Bottles on April 18 and 19, focusing on wheel thrown stoneware bottle forms. An opening reception will also be held on April 20, 5:00-8:00pm. The event is sponsored by GAEDA and co-sponsored by

that accompanies AAA 24/7 roadside assistance. A low-cost membership to AAA provides free towing, free tire change, free lock-out assistance, free minor mechanical first aid, free jump start, and, depending on your membership level, free delivery of emergency gas. For a limited time (through April 2018), readers of Louisiana Life can join AAA today and receive two memberships (in the same household) for only $48 (promo code 175336). And, current AAA members can add one new household member free (promo code 175338)! Visit your local AAA branch, call 844-330-2174, or visit AAA.com/valuepromo for additional information and to sign up today. LouisianaLife.com





MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LITIGATION WAGAR RICHARD KUTCHER TYGIER & LUMINAIS, LLP Two Lakeway Center, Suite 900 3850 N. Causeway Boulevard Metairie, Louisiana 70002 (504) 830-3838 nolacounsel.com Over the course of three decades, Chip Wagar has become one of the best known civil litigation trial lawyers in Louisiana, recognized as an outstanding advocate by Super Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates, receiving Martindale’s highest (AV) rating for lawyers for more than 25 years. He is also a Life Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. He is presently an Adjunct Professor of Law at Loyola University College of Law and for the past three years has taught law students the Medical Malpractice course there in addition to his active law practice. He has also been a teacher of trial advocacy for young lawyers with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and for law students including at Tulane and LSU law schools. Nowadays, his focus is primarily on the representation of medical malpractice victims. In 2015, he was lead counsel in a medical malpractice wrongful death case that resulted in a jury award of over $8 million; the largest damage award to a single medical malpractice victim in Louisiana history. Also a writer of historical fiction, Wagar has won awards for his novels, An American in Vienna and The Carpathian Assignment.




GENERAL DENTISTRY DR. J. KENT ROBY Since falling in love with New Orleans during his residency at Charity Hospital/LSU School of Dentistry, Dr. J. Kent Roby has passionately worked to improve the health and smiles of patients from his private dental practice located on Napoleon Avenue. Whether making patients smile, cheering on the Saints, supporting local music, or making elaborate costumes for Mardi Gras balls and Le Petit Theatre, Dr. Roby’s enthusiasm for his work and

2633 Napoleon Avenue, Suite 700., New Orleans, LA. 70115 (504) 899-3497 | drjkentroby.com life are always evident. Dr. Roby’s practice incorporates the latest in dental trends, esthetic options, and state-ofthe-art technologies. He provides a comfortable, relaxing environment with massaging treatment chairs and a panoramic view of the city.



NEUROSURGERY CULICCHIA NEUROLOGICAL CLINIC The neurosurgeons and neurologists at Culicchia Neurological Clinic comprise one of the largest neuro practices in the South, adept at treating a wide array of conditions. With the only neuro-oncologist in the region, Culicchia Neurological Clinic surgeons and physicians offer cuttingedge treatments for brain tumors. In addition, clinic doctors have earned an exceptional reputation in treating stroke, aneurysm, spine, brain, balance, and hearing disorders. Dr. Frank Culicchia, who is also chairman of the LSU Health New Orleans Department of Neurosurgery,

1111 Medical Center Blvd., Marrero, La. 70072 (504) 340-6976 culicchianeuro.com is joined by outstanding neurosurgeons: Neurotologist Moises Arriaga, Spine Surgeons John Steck, MD, Robert Applebaum, MD, Justin Owen, MD, and Interventional Neuroradiologist Robert Dawson, MD. Clinics are located in Uptown New Orleans, the West Bank and on the Northshore in Slidell and Covington. (L-R) Robert Dawson, M.D., Moises Arriaga, M.D., Justin Owen, M.D., Frank Culicchia, M.D., Robert Applebaum, M.D., John Steck, M.D.


march/april Festivals around the state by Kelly


GREATER NEW ORLEANS march 3–4. Congo Square New Worlds Rhythms Festival. New Orleans. march 9–10. Buku Music and Art Project. New Orleans.

march 22–25. Louisiana Crawfish Festival. Chalmette. march 23–25. Saints and Sinners Literary Festival. New Orleans. april 7. Freret Street Festival. New Orleans.

march 15. Top Taco Fest. New Orleans.

april 12–15. French Quarter Festival. New Orleans.

march 19–23. New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. New Orleans.

april 27–May 6. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. New Orleans.

march 21–25. Tennessee Williams Literary Festival. New Orleans.

April 27–May 6. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. New Orleans.

62 Louisiana Life march/april 2018

new orleans jazz & heritage festival new orleans Each year, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival brings hundreds of thousands of people together under one commonality — a love of music. Festivalgoers get to experience seven days of some of the country’s best and most popular musicians, while dining on the area’s famous local eats, basking in the sun and enjoying the culture and heritage on display at the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. This year, make sure to catch Aerosmith, Sting, Aretha Franklin and more.

May 18–20. Mid–City Bayou Boogaloo. New Orleans. May 23–27. New Orleans Wine & Food Experience. New Orleans. May 25–27. Bayou Country Superfest. New Orleans. May 25–28. Greek Festival New Orleans. New Orleans. june TBA. FestiGals New Orleans. New Orleans. june 2–3. New Orleans Oyster Festival. New Orleans. june 23–24. Louisiana Cajun–Zydeco Festival. New Orleans.

photograph courtesy new orleans jazz and heritage festival presented by shell

june 30. Slidell Heritage Festival. Slidell. july 5–8. Essence Festival. New Orleans. july 13–15. Running of the Bulls New Orleans. New Orleans. july 17–22. Tales of the Cocktail. New Orleans. aug. TBA. Dirty Linen Night. New Orleans. august TBA. Whitney White Linen Night. New Orleans. aug. 3–5. Satchmo SummerFest. New Orleans. aug. 11. Red Dress Run. New Orleans. aug. 30–Sept. 3. Southern Decadence. New Orleans. sept. 21–24. Alligator Festival. Luling. sept. 29–30. Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival. Bogalusa. oct. TBA. Louisiana Seafood Festival. New Orleans. oct. TBA. Gretna Heritage Festival. Gretna. oct. TBA. Andouille Festival. LaPlace. oct. 6–7, 13–14, 20–21. Oktoberfest. Kenner. oct. 12–14. Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival. New Orleans. oct. 12–14. Bridge City Gumbo Festival. Bridge City. oct. 13–14. Madisonville Wooden Boat Festival. Madisonville. oct. 26–28. Voodoo Music + Art Experience. New Orleans. nov. TBA. Oak Street Po– Boy Festival. New Orleans. nov. 10–11. Three Rivers Art Festival. Covington. nov. 17–18. Treme Creole Gumbo Festival. New Orleans. Dec. TBA. Words & Music Festival. A Literary Feast in New Orleans. New Orleans. Dec. TBA. Celebration in the Oaks. New Orleans. Dec. TBA. Festival of the Bonfires. Lutcher.

PLANTATION COUNTRY april 6–8. Kite Fest Louisiane. Port Allen. april 13–15. Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival. Ponchatoula.

may 5. Sunset Herb and Garden Festival. Sunset. may 17–19. Starks Mayhaw Festival. Starks. june TBA. Oilman’s Fishing Invitational. Houma. june 1–3. Bon Mangé Festival. Gheens.

april 20–22. Third Street Songwriters Festival. Baton Rouge.

june 22–24. Louisiana Catfish Festival. Des Allemands.

april 27–29. The Italian Festival. Tickfaw.

july TBA. Cajun Music & Food Festival. Lake Charles.

may TBA. Jambalaya Festival. Gonzales.

June 30–July 4. Erath Fourth of July Celebration. Erath.

oct. 19–21. Harvest Festival on False River. New Roads. oct. 25–Nov. 4. Greater Baton Rouge State Fair. Baton Rouge. oct. 27–28. Yellow Leaf Arts Festival. St. Francisville. Oct. 25–Nov. 4. Greater Baton Rouge State Fair. Baton Rouge. nov.–dec. weekends. Louisiana Renaissance Festival. Hammond.

july 20–21. Natchitoches/ NSU Folk Festival. Natchitoches. aug. TBA. Arts & Crabs Fest. Lake Charles. aug. 16–18. Le Cajun Music Awards and Festival. Lafayette. sept. TBA. Louisiana Zydeco Music Festival. Opelousas (Plaisance). sept. TBA. Best of the Bayou. Houma.

nov. 10. Louisiana Book Festival. Baton Rouge.

sept. TBA. Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival. New Iberia.

nov. 17–18. Louisiana Indian Heritage Association Pow Wow. Gonzales.

Aug. 30 – Sept. 3. Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival. Morgan City.

dec. TBA. Bon Fest. Port Allen.

sept. 20–23. Gueydan Duck Festival. Gueydan.

nov. TBA. Delcambre Christmas Boat Parade. Delcambre. Nov. 19–Jan. 6. Christmas Festival of Lights. Natchitoches. Nov. 30–Dec. 1. Christmas Under the Oaks. Sulphur. dec. 1–23. Noel Acadien au Village. Lafayette.

CENTRAL april 6–8. Boggy Bayou Festival. Pine Prairie. may 4–5. Mayfest. Leesville. june 7–9. Louisiana Corn Festival. Bunkie. june 29–30. Beauregard Watermelon Festival. DeRidder. oct. 1–5. West Louisiana Forestry Festival & Fair. Leesville. oct. 10. Rapides Parish Fair. Alexandria. nov. TBA. Sugar Day Festival. Alexandria. nov. 2–4. Louisiana Pecan Festival. Colfax. nov. 2–4. Sabine Free State Festival. Florien. dec. TBA. Fall Harvest Festival. Grant.


dec. TBA. Reflections of the Season. Port Allen.

oct. TBA. International Rice Festival. Crowley.


oct. TBA. Louisiana Cotton Festival. Ville Platte.

march 10. Black Heritage Festival. Lake Charles.

oct. 11–14. Festivals Acadiens et Créoles. Lafayette.

march 15–17. Iowa Rabbit Festival. Iowa.

oct. 19–21. October Fete. Kaplan.

june 22–23. Louisiana Peach Festival. Ruston.

march 6–8. Scott Boudin Festival. Scott.

oct. 20–21. Rougarou Festival. Houma.

march 13–15. Westlake Family Fun and Food Festival. Westlake.

nov. TBA. Atchafalaya Basin Festival. Henderson.

july 27–28. Louisiana Watermelon Festival. Farmerville.

may 3–6. Thibodaux Firemen’s Fair. Thibodaux. may 3–13. Contraband Days–Louisiana Pirate Festival. Lake Charles. may 4–6. Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival. Breaux Bridge.

nov. TBA. Louisiana Swine Festival. Basile. nov. TBA. Giant Omelette Celebration. Abbeville. nov. 19–Jan. 6. Christmas Festival of Lights. Natchitoches. nov. 30–Dec. 1. Christmas Under the Oaks. Sulphur.

april 14. Franklin Parish Catfish Festival. Winnsboro. may 11–13. Marion Mayhaw Festival. Marion. may 24–27. Mudbug Madness. Shreveport.

sept. TBA. Red River Revel. Shreveport. oct. TBA. Louisiana Art and Folk Festival. Columbia. oct. 25–Nov.11. State Fair of Louisiana. Shreveport. Oct. 25–Nov.11. State Fair of Louisiana. Shreveport. dec. TBA. Christmas on the River. Monroe–West Monroe.



a louisiana life

Boss lady

“The New Orleans Food and Beverage scene is on fire. It’s thrilling. I feel like we’re at one of those cataclysmic phases we may only fully appreciate years down the road. It is especially rewarding for me to see the younger generation of women and African Americans in the lead. And the hospitality industry begin to push and to be entrepreneurial and creative. The risks we take in our industry are very real and it takes guts!”

Ti Martin dishes on life in the restaurant business in New Orleans By Megan portrait By

Hill Romero & Romero

It’s hard to imagine famed

Commander’s Palace co-owner Ti Martin as anything other than a New Orleans food luminary. Martin wasn’t always at the helm of the restaurant her mother, Ella Brennan, helped elevate to legendary status. After earning an MBA in finance and marketing at Tulane, Martin moved to Houston to work in real estate syndication. “I was enjoying being an ambitious business woman when one day my Aunt Dottie called and said Mom was having open heart surgery the next day,” Martin says. “On the drive home from Texas I realized I wanted to move home and work with the greatest business mentor and best friend anyone could ever have — Ella Brennan.” Now Martin is working to open the New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute (NOCHI), a sort of cooking school on steroids. It will serve culinary and hospitality students looking to enter the workforce, help advance the careers of alreadyestablished professionals through continuing education opportunities, and draw in local and visiting foodies for classes. NOCHI is scheduled to open in January 2019. In the process, she’s working on defining her own legacy — and helping advance the city’s reputation. “I am determined to be known for not just food, but hospitality. As a city, we are very good at it but we need to educate our entire citizenry even more,” Martin says. “Then the world will come to us to teach them. That will be the greatest gift I could ever give New Orleans.” n


What’s your go-to cocktail? In summer, a real daiquiri (not frozen). Just rum, fresh lime juice, sugar. In the winter, a Blood & Sand. [Which is made with blood oranges and Scotch.] Favorite hobby? I play pickleball every Wednesday morning with my best friend Helen and dear pal Beth at 6:30 a.m. — for 31 years. Top weekend getaway spot? I love to sneak off to Santa Monica, Califoria for picnics on the beach with my girlfriend.